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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Foreign Minister Fabius to Eurofora: For the Unity of Opposition in Syria

French Foreign Minister Fabius to Eurofora: For the Unity of Opposition in Syria

Written by ACM
Thursday, 18 April 2013
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- France is in favor of the Unification of all the democratic forces opposed to President Bashar Assas in Syria, said to "EuroFora" French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious, experienced former Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker, after expressing his regrets for the fact that, otherwise, and in the absence of a major change, the current situation doesn't seem to offer any other obvious Good solution in the foreseeable future, as things stand today.
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- "Yes, I Hope. I really do hope so !", stressed smiling Fabius in reply to "EuroFora"s question if he thought that there is any real possibility for the Syrian Opposition to be United, (as f.ex. it was done in Libya and other Arab a.o. Countries in the recent Past).


- A fortiori when "Syria was traditionally a United Country", as the French Minister observed already earlier in this regard, speaking at EU Parliament's Foreign affairs Committee.

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- Meanwhile, some Dissident circles represented also in Strasbourg circulated inside the EU Parliament ther refusal to consider the Unification of all the Syrian Opposition as a "Condition" for a decisive help from Western Countries, (despite the importance that Russia and others traditionaly give to this crucial point : See relevant, previous "EuroFora"s NewsReports). "Questions are always raised about the Reason for which the Syrian Opposition is not United" yet. "But, will the International Community remain always without doing nothing, while People are still killed in Syria, simply because it would be waiting for a Political Unification" among all Dissidents, they wondered, considering that it was today merely "Hypothetical"....


- To "EuroFora"s question on the Real Reasons for which, exceptionally, in Syria, the Unification of all 0pposants to Bashar Assad seems much more Difficult than in any other Country (Comp. Supra), a well informed American observer pointed mainly to the fact that  "the Kurdish Minority wants to have a Right to use the Kurdish Language" in the Area predominantly inhabited by Kurdish populations"; i.e. close to the Turkish border.


This fits with critical observations made recently on the sidelines of an EU Council in Brussels by a Syrian Kurdish Journalist to "EuroFora", who claimed, indeed, that Turkey's obstinated Refusal to admit any Cultural/Linguistic a.o. Autonomy of the Syrian Kurdish Minority, with the result to "Block" in practice the Opposition's Unification, merely because of Ankara's fear to have to face, sooner or later, to face a similar prospect inside its own territory, as it's currently also the case in Iraq, etc.


- In this regard, replying earlier to MEP's questions, the French Minister agreed that it seems to be some "Hopes" regarding Turkey's reported "Talks with the PKK" on the Kurdish issue.


Could EU Parliament's careful wording in favor of taking "Steps conducive to the Opening (in the EU - Turkey Negotiations) of the Chapter on Regional policy", (strongly Opposed by many MEPs of various Political Groups and from several EU Countries), - after new French Socialist President Hollande reportedly accepted after his Election, even if this wasn't really debated in Public during the 2012 Electoral campaign : See "EuroFora"s relevant Previous NewsReport dated February 20, from Paris- be, in fact, also an attempt to help broker a Regional Deal with Ankara over the Kurdish issue, which might contribute to find a solution in the Syrian conflict ? Otherwise, it would obviously be difficult to explain the real reason of such a concession to Ankara, since the Turkish Authorities have, instead of doing any progress on their obligations vis a vis EU's Standards, on the contrary, aggravated recently the Violations of Human Rights and the derogations to the detriment of Democratic principles, the Threats and/or intransigeance  vis a vis Neighbouring Countries Greece, Armenia, and Cyprus, etc., as many key MEPs critically denounced in a "hot"  EU Parliament's debate yesterday...

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 - "It's very Difficult not to be Pessimist" : "It's a horrible Tragedy", stressed earlier on the current situation in Syria, the experienced French Foreign Minister.


 - "I'm not optimist for the Future, because, if we try to continue what is going on until now, there is a Risk of Explosion, where the most Extremist elements take over : Iran regime's allies, from the side of Mr. Assad, and, from the side of Sunnites, (as he said), Al Quaida-linked forces, might counter-balance that, if the current situation is prolonged.  This could not only augment the number of persons killed, but also have serious Repercussions throughout all the neighbouring Region, f.ex. on Lebanon, Jordany, Iraq and even Turkey : This is a Major Danger, considering also the Chemical Weapons existing in Syria", he warned, (timely speaking the same day that US and Russian Media reported that the 2 Chechen Terrorists who killed innocent People in Boston, and were following developments in Syria, had lived in Turkey and even acquired a Turkish nationality)..

 - "So, the only "good" Solution would be a Political one. I.e. to change the situation on the ground, so that both sides accept to discuss between them. It's true that there are Different positions between the various components of the Opposition. But we (France) support, nevertheless, the (Turkey-based, controversial) NCS, because we think that a solution is needed, which would not be similar to the non-solution of Iraq, so that the Institutions (of the Syrian State, mainly the Army) can contine to exist. Otherwise, they risk to implose, and push us all back to the previously examined situation, i.e. that which could be dominated by extremists, provoking Chaos.  


"In this regard, what is needed is  Humanitarian and Political efforts, at a level that we haven't reached yet, and, from another side, is raised the question of the Arms' embargo, that EU a.o. maintain, while others don't always, including f.ex. Iran, Russia and other Countries. So, the UK and France have raised this issue, which is due to be discussed at the end of May", he pointed out.


In fact, there arguments both for and against the Arms Embargo. In favor of lifting it, is obviously the fact that, otherwise, the Dictator (Bashar Assad) would continue to provoke massacres. As for the Opposition, its Majority is more or less "Moderate", but, there are also Extremists who risk to take over, particularly if things don't change", Fabius found out. However, there is also the problem that, if Arms arrive at Syria, they might be usurpated by Extremists. So, it's all that that we (EU) have to examine on May", Fabious had anounced from the start.


- But, as things stand today, Fabius expressed, earlier in conclusion, his "great Concern", "because there is no good solution", as he said, "since all existing alternatives present serious Dangers", (comp. Supra), and there is currently no "Deus ex machina" who might offer, suddenly, out of the blue, a satisfactory solution" in the current situation, in which "I don't have yet a ready-made solution", he acknowledged.
However, "this doesn't mean that nobody shouldn't do anything to try to find a solution, but, on the contrary, that all should mobilize their energies in order to help definitevelt stop that on-going bloody conflict, and, in this regard, "I wish that the EU does its best", Fabius concluded
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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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